Mending Wall

"Something there is that doesn't love a wall..."

Sometime in the spring of 1991, I worked with a trio of great musicians from my home church of First Assembly of God in Raleigh, NC to record some original tunes of mine.

I named the group "Mending Wall" after the Robert Frost poem (copy below), because I always found ironic that the most famous quote from that work was "good fences make good neighbors" when actually Frost's intent seemed to have been to convey just the opposite - "tear down the wall," as Pink Floyd famously sang.

I've kept after several of these songs (all music and lyrics by moi,) recording them with different groups...

This isn't the recorded order, but alphabetical:

After the Night
Elegy to Rock
I Would Die For You

My Lost Angel
When Dreams Die

As I was posting these tracks, I came across this info which must have seemed important to me at the time:

                    mending wall

                    demo -- spring 1991

                     --Technical Data--

All selections mastered to metal cassette on an Onkyo duel cassette and dubbed in real time using Dolby type "C" noise reduction.

Multi-track: Audio recorded on Yamaha MT44 4-track with Dolby "C".  Keyboards and drum tracks recorded on virtual tracks with a Roland MC-500 sequencer synced to the MT44.


Peter Howard: Vocals recorded with Shure Beta 58.
         Electric guitar: Washburn, processed through  Digitech GSP5.
         Acoustic guitar: Epiphone 12-string, close-miked with Shure Beta 58 and processed through Digitech GSP5.

Richard Ward: customized Aspen bass with EMG pickups, recorded direct.

Mike Crane: Drums played via Roland Octapad Pad-8-based electronic drum kit, driving a Roland DR-550 drum machine and recorded via MIDI to an MC-500 sequencer.

Calix Lewis Reneau:  Keyboards:  Ensoniq Mirage, Roland  Juno 106, Yamaha FB-01 recorded to MC-500 via MIDI; Oberheim OB-SX played live during 2-track mastering.

Outboard effects:  Boss RBF-10 flange, Digitech DSP128+, Ibanez harmonics/delay HD1000.
                   Patched through pre- and post-sends on Alesis 1622 mixer.

                   Mixed on an Alesis 1622, then stereo master processed through Alesis Micro Gate, Micro Enhancer, and Microverb II.

All selections produced by Calix Lewis Reneau.



by Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."